Spring "Cleaning"

Spring cleaning…brings assorted thought “sweeping” through my mind!  First of all, my daughter and I have two different viewpoints on the subject.  As a former military wife, change and cleaning for a new duty assignment are as natural as daylight and dark for her.  In fact, I often got worried when she would announce, I’m getting the feeling that it’s time to move on to a new place.  I was afraid she would never be able to settle in once and for all.  However, she’s done pretty well at being content.

            I, on the other hand, consider the subject of spring cleaning as drudgery and hard work.  That may be a result of my mother’s spring cleaning rituals which included her and me sitting on the windowsills of our second floor flat and washing the windows on the outside.  She also managed to throw in stripping wallpaper off the walls to repaper or to paint and texture the walls of her rental flat.  These are not things teenagers look forward to with great anticipation!

            My reasoning power tells me that it is difficult to know when it is the right time to take on this monumental task.  I teach my students to consider March 21 as the typical first day of spring since the spring equinox occurs on or about that date each year.  However, if you live in Oklahoma, spring may not show up until much later…or better yet, it may have sprung up with warm sunshine, buds, and stormy weather in February.  I have seen snow in April also.  This is why I laugh at folks who say, “Don’t wear white until Easter, and put the white away after Labor Day.  How silly we can be!  I’ve enjoyed seventy and eighty degree weather in Oklahoma during the middle of winter.  In fact, I’m sure the composer of the song, “Oh Susanna!” lived in Oklahoma when he wrote “the sun’s so hot I froze to death, Susanna don’t you cry!”

            On the positive side, I love to be outdoors after a spring rain.  The air feels clean and crisp.  All around me I see a “clean” landscape while smelling the pungent smells of pine trees, sweet aroma of newly-budding flowers, and the fertile “earth” smell of wet ground.  It makes me happy that I am alive to enjoy it.  My thoughts usually immediately think of the blind and deaf people who are missing this most wonderful blessing.  And, I say, “Thank you, God, for giving me these wonderful senses to take in all this beauty.

            I am sitting in my classroom right now, looking around and seeing all the “spring cleaning” I need to be doing.  Books need rearranging, old papers need tossing, and carpets are about ready for a new bath!  However, I also see the stack of papers needing grading before tomorrow’s school day begins.  So, no matter how nice it is outside, no matter what date the calendar shows, my spring cleaning will take place in the coming month in bits and pieces as I find an hour here and there that can be devoted to each task.  I WILL get it done…if I don’t, my daughter will come in behind me while I take a break and do it for me!  If I want to keep some of my treasures…I best get to them quickly!  Seriously, she does have a gift of organization…and it usually turns out to be quite helpful.    

                                                                                         - Kay